Satan has tried, through clever means, to kill, steal, and destroy the healing ministry of the church. In The Healing Reawakening by Francis MacNutt (Chosen Books, 2005), I got woke as to how he attempted it—and how far he got. And now that I know, I intend to do something.
Woke, a term commonly used to refer to awareness of racial discrimination, also refers to awareness of other types of oppression. It’s how I felt about the dawning awareness that the loss of the healing ministry of Christ in much of the church today is Satan’s oppression of individuals who would have been healed by now, except that because of his clever oppression of the healing ministry in the church itself, they haven’t been healed. And in many cases, this is exactly why. Keep reading.
We all wake up at a different time. And now is the time for Christians to wake up about the state of the healing ministry in the church. Consider this your wakeup call.
When Jesus said the thief (Satan) comes only to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10), he meant it. When Jesus came to rule “with a powerful arm” (as prophesied in Isaiah 40:10), that ruling was healing and driving out demons and raising the dead. Jesus, by those actions, was, setting free the oppressed.
Marinate your mind in these three passages of Scripture:
“No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
Isaiah 58:6 (NLT)
When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”
He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently. Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!”
Luke 4:16-21 (NLT)
John’s two disciples found Jesus and said to him, “John the Baptist sent us to ask, ‘Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?’”
At that very time, Jesus cured many people of their diseases, illnesses, and evil spirits, and he restored sight to many who were blind. Then he told John’s disciples, “Go back to John and tell him what you have seen and heard—the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.”
Luke 7:20-22 (NLT)
Jesus had brought the kingdom of heaven with him—it was at hand (Luke 10:9, Matthew 10:7). He had brought freedom from oppression with him (Isaiah 40:10). Healing was part of what he brought with him. Anyone who has ever been healed of something significant has been freed from a very real type of oppression.
Jesus’s earthly ministry was the first fulfillment of Isaiah 40:10, but not the last. Jesus is not done fulfilling it. His power and authority are still active on the earth. Jesus gave his authority and power to his followers—the church—to overcome all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19).
The church is supposed to be the ongoing fulfillment of Isaiah 40:10. We are the rightful agents of Christ’s authority. We are supposed to be his powerful arm to set free the oppressed now.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” (John 14:12, NLT)
Anyone who believes in him? That’s me. It’s you, also, isn’t it?
Yet I would venture to guess that most of us don’t have the first idea how to do the same works Jesus has done, and even greater works.
Because Satan couldn’t overcome that power, he has tried to hide it from us. He has woven a curtain of lies so seemingly innocuous—and so gradually—that many people don’t even realize they’ve been hornswoggled out of the knowledge of how to use their inherited authority.
Well, I intend to find out. I feel like I’m finding my way around a warehouse packed with cartons like that one in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, where the priceless treasures are packed away in sawdust in wooden crates in Hangar 51. But I know that it’s in there, and I’m not giving up.
And that’s why The Healing Reawakening by Francis MacNutt was such an eye opener. The more cobwebs that get brushed away by books like this, the better I will be able to find my way to the truth.
As Agnes Sanford mentioned to Francis MacNutt (page 225, The Healing Reawakening), I am asking God for a release of the Holy Spirit and the gifts that are already in me through baptism. God gave his Spirit and his gifts for a reason.
And as I research the number of people in the U.S. who live without healing, and how that number is expected to continue to burgeon in the coming decade, it convicts me.
As of March 2018, 45% of Americans lived with chronic illness. That’s 133 million unhealed people. And the number was growing.
Source: Wullianallur Raghupathi and Viku Raghupathi, “An Empirical Study of Chronic Diseases in the United States: A Visual Analytics Approach to Public Health.” Int J Environ Res Public Health, 15, No. 3, March 2018: 431. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15030431.
It’s really not supposed to be this way. The church is supposed to be healing many of those people. They are being oppressed by the devil, and we are the ones who are supposed to be breaking the chains of their oppression.
The number is growing so fast because we Christians are not carrying out the fullness of the commission Christ gave with his authority to do the same works he has done and even greater ones.
I’m way behind on this. Now that I’m aware, I’m trying to catch up.
Related post: I Thank God for the Life and Work of Francis MacNutt